Colombia

FARC leader asks for dialogue

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“Resuming the agenda remained pending in Caguán,” the demilitarized zone in which 10 years ago there was the last failed attempt at negotiation between the government and the guerrillas under the then leadership of Andrés Pastrana according to Timoleon Jimenez alias ‘Timochenko’, new commander in chief of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), in a note Addressed to Colombian public opinion.

In the statement, ‘Timochenko’ announces the interest of FARC, the longest-running guerrilla in Latin America, with nearly half a century of life, in participating in “a hypothetical table of dialogue” with the government on major social problems of the country, “privatization, deregulation , the absolute freedom of trade and investment, market democracy, the military doctrine.”

“We always refuse to deny the imposition of absolute truths. Our destiny is to recover what belongs to us. We proclaim our truth: this war will have no solution until our voices are heard, “added the head of the FARC, addressing president Juan Manuel Santos, who was the minister of Defence in the previous administration of Alvaro Uribe (2002-2010), during which the military option has gained the upper hand over every hypothetical instance of political negotiations.

In one passage of the note, ‘Timochenko’ also speaks of the region of Catatumbo, saying, “the government has reiterated its desire to increase the military presence to facilitate the entry of new companies” interested in coal and oil use and increase crop monocultures dedicated to the production of biofuels at the expense of indigenous people, with the pretext of conducting a frontal attack against drug trafficking. The army and the government “lied to the country”, determined as they are to “rob the natural reserves and parks for the earnings of their shareholders” in a land where native communities “… half a century ago fought with bows and arrows for their land” and are ”now living as refugees.”